Portfolio > Captive

Captive tackles the American Gulag industry and the scandal of false imprisonment. They appear to be abstractions but they are really a form of text painting; instead of letterforms or numbers, however, the paintings are an ocean of tally marks. Using one of the simplest counting systems, these markings of four verticals punctuated by a diagonal slash, I make a tabulation of the days lost by those who were falsely imprisoned. Using data from The Innocence Project, the Center for Wrongful Convictions, and the National Registry of Exonerations, I have collected the daily countdown of the falsely imprisoned. The series began with triptych of three men who were convicted of murder and spent 39 years in prison; 14,229 days based upon coercion, bias, and incompetence. Each painting is a crude diary of marking time, of hoping and losing hope, of standing still while the world carries on; punctuated by violence, bureaucratic indifference, and thwarted desire. From that beginning the series continues to grow. Unfortunately, the subject matter for these paintings is abundant—the list of wrongful convictions is tragically long.

Captive I
Acrylic on canvas
72"x60"
2018
Captive II
Acrylic on canvas
72"x60"
2018
Captive III
Acrylic on canvas
72"x60"
2018
Captive IV
Acrylic on canvas
72"x60"
2018